Hiring salespeople who are successful can be the difference between success and failure in a business. Building a great sales team cannot be left to chance.
If you are like most Sales Managers and Executives, you have struggled with recruiting, interviewing and hiring great sales talent. Too many people suffer through the 80-20 rule where 80% of your results are delivered by 20% of the salespeople.
This is a recipe for disaster.
The first step is to have a strategy for sales recruiting. There are numerous ways to attract candidates. See the article on recruiting sources for a complete discussion. You can certainly use recruiting services like headhunters to find candidates. But the most reliable tool is an employee referral program.
Getting existing employees to refer people they have worked with in the past has always outperformed any other method. The article on employee referral programs details how to get the most out of your investment.
There is only so much time in a day and it is important to prioritze how your time is spent recruiting. Face to face interviews need to be reserved for the most outstanding candidates. As a result a system is needed to work through the candidates and only screen in those with the highest potential.
The resume is usually the first stop. You can click this link for a complete discussion and a video on reading sales resumes. The goal always is to find those people who have had had success in similar situations to those they will face on your job.
Sales assessment testing in another tool that can be used to screen in the best candidates. There are hundreds of tools available on the market. They range in quality from quite good to really terrible. For a coplete discussion of these tools read the article on sales assessment testing.
Interviewing Sales Candidates
The majority of the data that goes into making a hiring decision comes from the face to face interview. Interviewing sales candidates is a unique process. It is important to use a structured process and not leave it the seat of your pants. There are a number of resources on this site to help you learn to do a better job of interviewing sales candidates. The interviewing sales candidates article is a good place to start. In addition there is an entire section on the interview process.
Without a doubt the most important ingredient in any interview is the quality of interview questions. Ask effective questions and you get quality data resulting in hiring top performers. Ask lousy questions and the process is doomed.
There are a number of great articles on this site that will help you with interview questions. My recommendation is to start with the interview questions section. In addition, there is a page with dozens of sample sales questions. This page provides a wide range of proven sample sales questions.
Finally, be certain to check out our Sales Interview Training to help you get started hiring great salespeople.
Below are a number of resources to help you hire better salespeople: